Where was Mother Teresa actually from?
Contrary to popular belief, Mother Teresa was not from Calcutta or India at all. In truth, she was born in Gonxha Agnes on August 26, 1910, in Skopje, which is now part of present-day Macedonia. Her roots traced back to Albanian parentage, a heritage that would later deeply influence her life's mission. At the tender age of 18, in 1928, she embarked on a transformative journey, leaving her home for Ireland to join the Sisters of Loreto. It was within the walls of this Irish convent that she received her new name, Sister Mary Teresa, inspired by the revered St. Therese of Lisieux. The following year, she set forth for Calcutta, India, driven by a fervent desire to impart knowledge and compassion. At St. Mary’s school for girls, she began her journey, eventually ascending to the position of principal in 1944.
In the pivotal year of 1946, Mother Teresa experienced a profound calling that would forever change the course of her life. She felt a divine summons to serve those deemed unwanted, unloved, and uncared for in society. This calling, undeniably powerful, ignited a flame of purpose within her. In 1948, after years of unwavering dedication, she was granted the blessing to establish the Missionaries of Charity, a religious community singularly devoted to uplifting the destitute and marginalized. This community, founded in Calcutta, would go on to leave an indelible mark on the world, extending its reach to the far corners of the globe. By the time of her passing on September 5, 1997, Mother Teresa's legacy was immeasurable. Her tireless efforts had resulted in the establishment of approximately 4,000 Sisters in 610 foundations spanning across 123 countries, all bound by a shared commitment to compassion and selfless service.
Mother Teresa's final resting place lies within the hallowed halls of the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, the very city that became the epicenter of her life's work. Her tomb stands as a solemn tribute to her extraordinary life of service and sacrifice, a beacon of hope for generations to come. Recognizing her unparalleled devotion to humanity, Mother Teresa was bestowed with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, an honor that affirmed the global impact of her work. Furthermore, on October 19, 2003, her unwavering spirit and boundless compassion were posthumously recognized by Pope John Paul II, who presided over her beatification for Sainthood at the grandeur of St. Peter’s in Rome. The occasion drew several hundred thousand devout admirers, underscoring the profound influence that Mother Teresa continues to exert on hearts and minds worldwide.